Here are some views from our Sunday drive yesterday. It took about 3 hours to get there and longer to return, thanks for the traffic jam at Warkworth. I realise I have to time these day trips to beat the traffic jam hours.
However, We took off and stopped briefly for a coffee at a petrol station in Dairy flat. Nothing spectacular, just a stop to fill up on gas and have some coffee for a short break.
Here is the first photo stop that I took on the way. We went through Dome Valley which is on the main road north from Auckland. Always pays to say your prayers going through this place. I lost a friend here who was killed on the road in this very place. The roads are lined with bush and the bends are winding and on all levels, high and low. People drive like they believe that they are invincible! They are not.
Then after a while you go up the next most dangerous place and even more so. The Brynderwyn ranges which are just before Whangarei. The Brynderwyn ranges are in Northland. The road is narrow and winding, starting from going up and then to a peak and then going down. We stopped at a lookout point on the way down. You turn right and drive to a parking place and walk up a small steep hill.
This is the view.
Way across the distance you see the North Head of Whangarei Harbour. In my view, its the best harbour in New Zealand as it is the deepest natural harbour. You used to be able to see the flickering lights of Marsden Point Oil refinery. Its still there but used in another capacity. Things have changed.
Yes, the heads are in a mist and hard to see, but I don’t like giving up and its not often we get this opportunity.
I kept changing the types of editing to try to get this view, never mind one day we will get this opportunity to see more clearly. There is a fence near me while I take these shots and you are looking at farmland. However, there are quite a few farms around and home steads everywhere.
Here you are looking towards the Hen & Chicken Islands. They are Conservation land and are protected by New Zealand Conservation authorities. They keep away pests, like stoats, ferrets and weasels, and rats, mice and opossums from threatening our unique native bird life.
You can only go with the permission and probably with Conservation staff to visit these islands. I assure you, it will be very expensive to visit too. However, the extra money spent on these visits assets these people to preserve New Zealand pristine plant and bird and insect species. Sometimes even unique lizards such as the Tuatara, an very old species of dinosaur.The Tuatara has 3 eyes, but only 2 of them are useful eyes.
Here you see, a more clearer view of the Hen & Chicken Islands. A large island with the shape of a Hen and smaller Islands that resembles Chickens. I have never been near these islands neither have I met anyone who has ever been there.
I know that you can go close to the Poor Knights Island which are a Marine reserve as well as the natural reserve of that island. I asked and yes, you can go. Some people get permission to dive there. Ive never seen them but they are further north than here.
With regard to actual, poultry, we had 2 visitors eyeing the visitors viewing the sights from this viewing place.
Firstly, the hen. Looking for food I guess or else just curious about the visitors.
Then there is her campion, the Rooster which also arrives. Sadly, no chickens. Well, there are only the Hen & Chicken Islands, but no Rooster Island. Without the Rooster, there would be no chickens.
We cant leave this page without showing you where we are standing to see this view and where the road takes you. So here is the hill, first.
Its not too bad to walk up this small steep hill. I’ve walked up far worse hills. You do need to watch where you place your feet so no ankle gets twisted by mistake. The ground can be uneven in places.
No here is the road going down. To go North you need to drive down and turn right. Its a very busy road as a main highway but with patience you get to go. No problem turning South as you turn left to go up the hill.
From here, the road is winding and no trouble to drive down hill in comparison with coming up the hill from the other side. Going up the Brynderwyns its a narrow and winding road, even though its tar – sealed it is very dangerous. On one side as you go up is a cliff and the other side, although there is room for cars each way, the road is still narrow and one side is a steep down cliff. You need to be very careful driving here. There are some maniacs driving on the road.
You are safe if you keep to the speed limit and stay on your side of the road.
Lots of people have died driving on the Brynderwyn ranges. Death on this road is avoidable if you keep your wits about you, and drive carefully.
You can can see from the photo above a Bay and down hill the first place we went through was Waipu town and then Waipu Cove, which is a beach. We didn’t stop there as there was no where to park but made our first stop after that at Lang’s Beach.